When members of the British Royal Family visit a Commonwealth country, citizens of that country foot the bill in the form of taxes. During the last tour taken by the Cambridges in September and October to B.C. and the Yukon, it was projected by the Federal Department of Canadian Heritage that $855,000 ( £507,523) would be spent to welcome the family of four and their staff.
During their tour, which lasted from September 24 through October 1st, the Duke and Duchess kept up a brisk schedule of events. They toured a winery in the Okanagan, visited the Immigrant Services Society in Vancouver, and took a canoe trip in Haida Gwaii.
Ken Rubin, a researcher from Ottawa obtained this detailed breakdown of the budget through an access-to-information request. According to The National Post, here’s how the expenses broke down: $39,000 was set aside for a “reconnaissance visit” July 3-10 and $116,300 for a “dry-run visit” July 31-Aug. 8 involving several staff members. It also budgeted for ‘hotel accommodations, motorcade vehicle rentals, the hiring of an official photographer and bouquets of flowers.’ Approximately $40,000 was set aside for hotel accommodations of 16 staff members.
It’s important to note that specific costs won’t be available for several months, a spokesman from the Canadian Heritage told the National Post. the information obtained by Rubin is simply a forecasted budget from Canadian Heritage. Other departments such as the RCMP, which handled security matters had yet to compile their figures.
“Final costs for the Department of Canadian Heritage’s portion of the tour will not be known until all the final accounting and paperwork is complete, which can take up to six months,” Tim Warmington communicated through email.
Other miscellaneous expenses include ‘$20,000 for a reception at Telus Gardens in Vancouver recognizing the achievements of young leaders and $10,000 for a tour of the reopened Kitsilano Coast Guard station; $40,000 for the royal family’s accommodations, $1,600 for baggage handling and parking, $5,000 for motorcade rental vehicles, $40,000 for translation services and $10,000 for flowers and refreshments.’
The department allocated $4,000 for its in-house photographer and videographer to catalog the tour, $20,000 for an official photographer and $5,000 for a photo album.
At the conclusion of the Royal Tour, on behalf of Canada, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, donated $100,000 to nonprofits that assist indigenous youth and immigrants. The funds are to be shared by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
$500 was set aside for a personal gift from the Prime Minister. He gave them a candelabra titled: “Second life (Deuxième vie)”, handmade by wood turner Denis H. Gauthier from Aylmer, Que. The records also showed that Ottawa was also expected to recover $30,000 from a cost-sharing venture with B.C.
The public may love seeing the Royals on tour, but it’s most certainly an expensive endeavour putting everything together to make the tours happen. It takes staff, security, accommodations, vehicles, personal gifts and lots of cash.